Combining sweet and savory, this Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust is a unique (and delicious) dessert for Autumn!
This Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!
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This seed-planting adventure was inspired by a group activity project within Cabot Creamery’s Learn. Explore. Grow. program. As part of this program, Cabot has created 7 different group activities designed to teach and inspire kids. At the end of the program, kids earn a completion badge. (Robbie was very proud of his badge! However, he wanted us to sew it onto his stuffed tiger. We’ll see how that works out. Hah!)
The Pollinator Patch program is one of the 7 programs within the Learn. Explore. Grow. program. This program was designed by Cabot in partnership with KidsGardening.org, and the goal is to teach our kids the importance of pollinators. Did you know pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites that we eat? Yup, approximately 33% of the food grown for human consumption depends on pollinators. And what do I mean by pollinators? Well, pollinators are everything from bees to butterflies to hummingbirds and even bats.
So what do butterflies and bees have to do with dairy? Well, as dairy farmers know well, cows consume quite a bit of alfalfa and clover. (In fact, cows love clover!) Alfalfa and clover (along with other plants and grasses) all need pollinators to grow. Thus, a decline in pollinators could impact the availability of dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. (No, not the cheese! A good sharp cheddar cheese is one of my favorite foods of all time!)
Imagine your favorite mug without coffee. Imagine a garden without flowers. Imagine a world without pizza. (Say it ain’t so!) All of these things rely on pollinators, and pollinators (bees and Monarch butterflies in particular) have really been in decline in recent years. A number of factors are in play here, including pesticides and parasites that destroy bee colonies.
However, there are things we can do to help! For starters, we can get out and plant some wildflowers in our backyards. Since 1/3 of our food supply depends on pollinators, we could commit to making 1/3 of our yards pollinator-friendly. It’s not that difficult, and pollinator-friendly flowers can make a yard look quite pretty, too. That’s a win-win in my book! (Now if only they could develop a plant that grows sharp cheddar cheese!)
The Pollinator Patch program is amazing! It comes with resources and activity plans for group leaders so that they can teach kids the importance of pollination. Activities include making your own flower, interviewing a local beekeeper and planning a special pollinator snack.
I completed the Pollinator Patch program with Robbie, and I’m planning on passing the resources along to the director of his preschool. I know they’re always looking for fun, educational activities for the kids! (Cabot offers a total of 7 patch programs, including the importance of healthy lifestyles, contributing to our communities and learning how to express gratitude towards others. All of the programs are free, and come with patches and a treat pack upon completion. Click here to explore Cabot’s Patch Programs!)
Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust
Upstate New York is apple country. (New York is #2 behind Washington State on the list of apple production.) Apples require pollinators to grow. Without pollinators, those flowers on the apple trees each spring would never turn into apples. We love apples (honeycrisps!) around our house. Each year, I pick an insane amount of apples at a local orchard, and then we eat those apples for the next month or so. That first bite of a cold honeycrisp apple each Autumn is purely magical! (Last year, I think I picked 45 pounds of apples. Oops. We ate them all, though…eventually!)
Apple pie with cheese? Yup, it’s a real thing. I mean apples pair well with cheeses on a charcuterie board, right? So why not include cheese in your apple pie, too? I admit that the combination might sound a bit odd, but I challenge you to give it a try!
Now you’re not going to find me drizzling melted cheese on top of my apple pie. (Yes, that’s a thing.) However, mixing the shredded cheese right into the pie dough? I can get on board with that. The cheddar cheese crust reminded me of cheese wafers that my mom used to make for parties when I was a kid. In fact, I just went back and looked at her recipe. It’s almost identical to this cheddar cheese crust!
The contrast of the sharp, salty cheese totally complements the sweetness of the apple pie. I’m a huge fan of salty + sweet desserts, and now I can add this Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust to the list. I’m curious to hear your thoughts here. Let me know what you think! Would you put cheese in your apple pie? Or would you just stick to a charcuterie board where the cheese is separate?
Did you make this Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)! Happy baking!
Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust
For the Dough
For the Filling
- 2½ -3 pounds apples peeled and sliced into ¼” slices (I used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into ¼” cubes
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp of water
- turbinado sugar for topping
For the Dough
- Using a food processor, add flour, brown sugar and salt; pulse until well combined.
- Cut butter into small cubes. Add butter and shredded cheese to the food processor; pulse until a crumbly mixture forms (~10 pulses).
- Add water; pulse until well combined. If necessary, add 1-2 more Tbsp of water at a time (and pulsinuntil dough comes together in a ball.
- Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Note: Dough can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight.)
For the Filling
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Using a large bowl, add sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; stir until well combined.
- Working on a well-floured surface, roll one piece of pie dough into an 11” circle.
- Press dough into bottom and sides of a 9” pie dish. Spread apple mixture into an even layer on top of the dough. Dot top of filling with small cubes of butter.
- Brush edges of the dough with the beaten egg; set pie dish aside.
- Roll remaining piece of dough into a 9” circle. Using a small square (or rouncontainer, cut squares out of the pie dough. Lay the dough on top of apple filling.
- Roll the remaining piece of pie dough out into a large circle. Using the small container, cut more squares out of the dough. Reroll any scraps and continue cutting until all dough has been used.
- Lay the squares around the edges of the pie to create the crust. (Tip: Brush a little bit of the egg wash onto each square to help the squares stick together.)
- Brush top of pie with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle top of pie generously with turbinado or another coarse sugar.
- Set pie pan on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking for 20 minutes. Tent pie with foil to prevent the top from burning and continue baking for 20-25 minutes, or until apples are soft.
- Transfer pie to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 1½ hours before slicing.
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